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Cargill, David
1809-1843; e.m. 1832

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David Cargill and his wife Margaret (née Smith, 1809-1840), were missionaries in Tonga and Fiji. Their arrival in Tonga after a 16-month journey coincided with a charismatic awakening. A graduate of Aberdeen (the WMMS's first graduate missionary), he took up the translations work begun by other missionaries. In 1835 they and William Cross launched a mission in Fiji, where Christians from Tahiti and Tonga had begun preaching. After four years on the island of Lakemba they moved in 1839 to Rewa on Vita Levu. Supply schooners were unreliable and mail often took two years. Repeatedly, both on moving and after hurricanes, they built a home from scratch. In spite of invariable seasickness, six pregnancies and physical weakness, 'Maggie' learned Tongan and Fijian and shared her husband's ministry amid local intrigue, warfare and cannibalism. After her death he went through much mental suffering, but remarried while on furlough in England. He died by his own hand in Vava'u, Fiji, on 25 April 1843, soon after his return to the Pacific.

Sources

  • Mora Dickson, The Inseparable Grief: Margaret Cargill of Fiji (1976)
  • G.G. Findlay and W.W. Holdsworth, The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (1921-1924), vol. 3

Entry written by: JRP
Category: Person

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